Problem with Nero 5 (child) phase setting in random mode

derekh

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I've got an issue with my two AI Nero 5 pumps (parent/child mode with the parent in random) and could use some help.

With the parent pump in random mode, the pumps are always perfectly in-sync regardless of what phase the child is set to. I've tried changing the child's phase all along 0-360 with 180 supposedly being anti-sync but the phase doesn't seem to have any effect. When I change the child's phase in pulse mode, it works exactly as I'd expect it to (chasing at 90, anti-sync at 180). Both pumps' firmwares are fully updated.

Does anyone else have this problem? Any advice? Thanks!
 

tetiz

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me too, it's problem.

when random mode(parent/child mode), The LED color of the main parent controller is orange(random) and the child-pump is green(constant).
and the phase doesn't seem to have any effect.
always Sync mode.
 
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tetiz

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me too, it's problem.

when random mode(parent/child mode), The LED color of the main pump controller is orange and the sub-pump is green.
and the phase doesn't seem to have any effect.
always Sync mode.
 
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derekh

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Anyone else out there with 2 Nero 5 pumps that can test this out? I wish I could get random anti-sync to work!!
 
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I have 2 neros as well. I noticed the issue with parent/child and the lights on the controller. Child light shows green instead of amber when both in random mode. But it seems as if that part is only impacting the display on the controller and not the mode the pump is actually in at least. How are you checking to confirm if random anti-sync is or is not working? I can run some tests but am not certain how you are checking. I would think what is actually happening is that both pumps are just randomly moving water in the parameters you set (variance and max flow) and would never really get to a sync or anti-sync. But I could be off. Either way I can gladly test. Just let me know what method you are using to confirm.
 
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derekh

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So checking whether they're synced or not is a little tricky since there's no display in the app that shows both pump's speeds simultaneously, but here's what I'm doing:

1) Using my ears. I've got the 2 pumps on opposite sides of a 75 gallon tank and can hear them ramp up or down in speed.
2) Using my eyes. My tank is barebottom and I don't run filter socks so there's a fair amount of detritus that's swirling around. This makes it easy to see that the convergence point of the 2 pumps is always exactly dead center in the tank regardless of how the pumps are ramping up or down in speed.
3) Using the app. While you can't see both pump's speeds simultaneously, you can click on each pump individually to see its current speed. If you're quick, you can click back and forth between the 2 pumps to verify they're always synced up.

I currently have both pumps in random mode (independently). I can clearly hear the 2 pumps at different speeds, I can clearly see the convergence point of the 2 pumps shift around in the tank, and I can click back and forth between the 2 pumps in the app to verify they're not running at the same speed. Though this has been working alright, I'd really like to setup the random mode in anti-sync for a couple of reasons:

1) The flow of the 2 pumps will always add up to 100%. Right now (both random, independent), one pump could be at 5% and the second could be at 15% with very little overall flow in the tank. Similarly, one could be at 90% and the second at 100% (too much flow for my frogspawn near the convergence point in the middle).
2) Some "gyre" effect can take place (randomly on occasion, I know I can set this up manually using the pulse mode). If they're properly running random anti-sync, when one pump is 100% the second would be 0%, allowing for a nice alternating gyre sorta flow. I really got used to how awesome a gyre flow was with my old XF-230 pumps, but I got away from them due to maintenance and stalling issues.
3) If random worked in anti-sync the convergence point would always be shifting back and forth throughout the tank. Currently, the corals at the far ends of the tanks aren't getting much flow because the flow from the opposing side's pump, while powerful enough alone to reach the opposite side, never quite gets there since the 2 pumps are fighting one another. This results in lots of turbulence and flow in the middle of the tank, but very little flow and turbulence near the ends where the convergence point of the pumps rarely occurs.

I've emailed AI to ask about this setting and have only received a canned response explaining how the phase mode is supposed to work. The customer service person didn't address the fact that phase is working correctly in pulse but not random. I replied, emphasizing again that the issue is only in random anti-sync and am awaiting a response.

Thanks for your offer to help Tunic!! Looking forward to hearing back how your pumps handle the random anti-sync setting!
 
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derekh

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I just received a response from AI and they have verified this issue and are working on a software update to fix it. Here's the response:


Hey Derek,

I will be reporting the issue you are having to our software engineer for further review and resolution. I have tried what you are claiming on a pair of pumps in our office and have been able to confirm that there is, in fact, an issue with that programming. We greatly appreciate you bringing this up to us and we are working on an update for the pump and myAI app to resolve this issue immediately. Please stay posted for firmware updates coming soon to resolve the issue you are having. For now, you can run each pump separately in the random mode which will virtually create the same effect as if the pumps were set to 180-degree anti-sync!

Thank you again,
Mike

 
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I just received a response from AI and they have verified this issue and are working on a software update to fix it. Here's the response:


Hey Derek,

I will be reporting the issue you are having to our software engineer for further review and resolution. I have tried what you are claiming on a pair of pumps in our office and have been able to confirm that there is, in fact, an issue with that programming. We greatly appreciate you bringing this up to us and we are working on an update for the pump and myAI app to resolve this issue immediately. Please stay posted for firmware updates coming soon to resolve the issue you are having. For now, you can run each pump separately in the random mode which will virtually create the same effect as if the pumps were set to 180-degree anti-sync!

Thank you again,
Mike

Good to know. Guess I will hold off on my testing then :) I guess 2 running in random mode but not as child and parent is similar but not a true anti-sync. But as you were saying if both hit random at the max setting at the same time that could be tons of flow which would not happen in anti-sync.
 
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derekh

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It's been over a month and still no software fix for this glitch from AI.
 
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derekh

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Contacted their support team last week and was told they hope to get the bug fixed soon but they have no estimated date of completion. He just told me to keep checking my app daily for firmware updates, though this is what he told me a month ago. Gotta say checking every day and not getting an update gets frustrating, lol.
 
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derekh

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I apologize if this gets a little ranty, but after many weeks/months of patience I'm a bit less amenable to AI's explanations.

Initially they told me to check for updates daily as the issue was top priority. Since then, I've emailed their customer support every few weeks but so far it's just been the "we're working on it and will discuss this in the meeting with our software developers later this week" runaround. Also, they've mentioned that fixing this anti-sync problem breaks other functions of the pump within the software.

The customer service folks have been really friendly but frankly it's unacceptable that this basic function doesn't work. Anti-sync is built into almost every other pump at this price segment out there. I wouldn't have purchased these pumps if I knew anti-sync didn't work.

In my tank, two pumps in random usually provides too little flow at any given, but every once in a while they'll both crank up to max speed and then it's way too strong.

Please email AI's customer support to ask them about getting anti-sync to work. If there's enough people bugging them maybe they'll prioritize a fix. AI if you're reading, please get a working solution to this issue! Anti-sync is an essential feature!
 

TheKingInYellow

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Actually after I posted here I realized the solution to having the two pumps randomize their flow better was to not set them up as a child/parent, and give them both their own schedule.

It seems obvious in hindsight and accomplished what I wanted anyhow. If you want to two pumps to randomly work in tandem it's not a solution, but it's better than the alternative I guess.
 
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derekh

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Yep. The downside is that if both pumps are set to 0-100% independent random, sometimes both pumps will be at 0% and sometimes both will be at 100% (possibly too little or too much flow).

Parent-child in anti-sync always maintains a static overall flow within the tank, but the convergence point between 2 pumps across from another will randomly shift from one side of the tank to the other. When one pump is 100% and the other 0%, it would also produce a gyre-like flow in the tank with alternating directions depending on which pump was at max or min speeds.

With both pumps in independent random you can keep set them to a relatively high minimum speed to maintain a certain amount of flow at all times like 40-100%, or you can set both pumps to a wider range (0-100%) to get some gyre-like flow every once in a while. A high minimum flow rate means no gyre-like alternating flows which are great for stirring up detritus, also the convergence point will almost always be blasting the middle of the tank. A low minimum flow rate means times of very stagnant flow when both pumps are near 0.

Unfortunately the actual speed of the pumps seems to spend most of their time in the middle of whatever range you set, so if you set 0-100% more often than not the convergence point between 2 opposing pumps will be somewhere in the middle-ish of the tank (both pumps spending most of their time around 50%). If you set both pumps to 40-100%, it's the same thing except both pumps tend to hang out around 70%, again with the convergence near the middle of the tank.

As a giant PITA remedy I've gone through my pump schedules and have opposing sides alternate with the left being 0-60% and right being 40-100% for an hr, then flipping. This has helped me keep that convergence point from blasting the corals right in the middle of the tank all the time, and gives some of that chaotic flow to the ends of the tank too.
 

TheKingInYellow

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Yeah right now I'm still finishing my cycle so I can't say what the flow really looks like. Just have them both at high variance, 40%-75% during daytime hours and 10%-30% at night.

A firmware update would be great.
 
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derekh

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I sent AI another support request yesterday. They responded this morning that they expect a firmware update in the next 2 weeks. He said he hoped it would fix the problem but to contact them again if the issue persists.
 

TheKingInYellow

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More than two weeks later...

I just checked with AI and they said the firmware/app update is coming within the week.

(07:56:04 PM) Alex Young: Hi David. I was told my our engineering staff we will be releasing an app update/firmware update within the next week or so to resolve that issue.
(07:56:13 PM) David Gordon : Ah great
(07:56:24 PM) David Gordon : I know a lot of users are anxiously waiting
(07:56:25 PM) David Gordon : Thanks
(07:56:51 PM) Alex Young: Anything else I can assist you with?

(07:57:05 PM) David Gordon : Nope that's all for now. Cheers!
 
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derekh

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Yeah I contacted them over the weekend and got a prompt reply first thing Monday. I'd expressed my frustration regarding the continually drawn-out predicted release date to fix this bug and asked if I could possibly exchange my pumps (4 x Nero 5) for 2 x MP40s and maybe a MP10 ($200 less than the money I've spent on these Nero 5s so far). I received radio silence in response to my suggested return of the Nero 5s, but got a similar response as you for the bug-fix.

Here's the bug-fix relevant bit:

"Thank you for getting back to us and we appreciate your patience in this matter thus far. We are still pressing our software engineers to try and resolve this issue as quickly as possible as we do realize that this mode should be working if you so choose to use it. I have directly passed on your comments and concerns to our engineering team so that they see the extent of the issue you are having. "

I think I'm unhappy and unable to do anything about it but express my frustrations. I think the customer service reps are unhappy and unable to do anything about it but direct their frustrations to the software folks. I also think someone did a **** job with quality control/testing before releasing this product. It would be great if this gets fixed soon, or if Ecotech Marine / AI makes this right with their customers soon.
 
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